I was born in Newfoundland, grew up in the South Shore of Nova Scotia, and have been in the water for as long as I can remember. This has always been normal to me and has always been part of my culture, so anything different can sound a bit unusual to me.  

It wasn’t until recently that I realized the way I have always lived is different to others. The turning point of this is when I was on an overnight sailing trip, and when the crew got together to talk before bed, a girl from New York said “I love my time here sailing…it’s not every day I get to see the stars”. It had never occurred to me that others didn’t have the luxury I did. Light and smog pollution limits one third of the world’s population from viewing the stars, which is an astonishingly huge amount of people.

I have often found that us Canadians can forget where we live and take the scenery for granted. So when faced with different views and ways of living, it is a gentle reminder to me that it doesn’t hurt to gaze up at the stars every now and again.

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